Constant Judgement

Do they still like me?

I remember asking myself this question growing up.  We feel like this is something that we need to know so that we know where we stand. Are we “cool?”  If yes, then we feel safe which allows us to be ourselves. 

In middle school I figured out that to get a ‘yes’ on the cool scale, you needed to follow the rules of the group you wanted to be a part of; what to wear, say, listen to, and act.  

I played their game.  I found out that the kids I thought I wanted to be friends with were not actually who I thought they were.  After, and without being aware of it, I found friends where I rarely had to ask, “am I cool. Three of those kids are still close friends today.  

Some athletes ask this question way too much, whether they know it or not. They ask themselves after every performance or, worse, after every play.  It’s almost like the feeling that you get after texting or snapping their crush; they say “Do you still like me?” 

The problem is, that’s not a great strategy for building relationships with others, or for ourselves. 

Being able to answer “yes” when you ask yourself, “do I still like me?” is a sign of mental fitness, as is being able to strive for more while still being satisfied.  

The bonus video from Greg Maddux that was probably made in the 90’s nicely summarizes why you need to answer “yes.” Knowing and liking who you are is huge.

Mental fitness requires the ability to master many mental skills. More mental skills means more flexibility and agility. 

Last week, I talked about the ability to grieve and how to honor those whom we miss.  One of the ways I honor my Grandpa Carl Skulstad is to share his brand of humor: puns.  

Humor and laughter connect, and connection is free medicine.  It makes tough times better and reminds you that you are not alone and that you are loved.  We need humor even more than before. In hard times, my conversations with friends and families pulled me through for those very reasons. 

My puns will make you laugh sometimes, and sometimes shake your head.  Heck, sometimes you might tune me out, I’m okay with that. 

I still like me.  I haven’t always, which is normal, and I am sure there will be moments where I don’t again. But I am confident that as annoying as they may be, you will still find value in Mental Fitness Fridays, because you have the Mental Fitness to find something valuable in every experience which is a skill. 

Humor is too, just like grieving. As I share in my video this week, my family trained me to be a punster.  It’s part of the glue of our family.  It’s one way that I connect with others and you.  As you will see in the Ted Talk it has so many benefits.  

This talk is funny (I especially love the math pickup line he shares where he says “Hey girl, you’re way above average, so don’t be mean.”)  

Humor as you will see in this week’s Ted talk is a skill.